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Leisure Opportunities is published fortnightly by Te Leisure Media Company Limited, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ, UK and is distributed in the USA by SPP, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid @ Manchester, PA POSTMASTER Send US address changes to Leisure Opportunities, c/o PO Box 437,Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Te views expressed in print are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher Te Leisure Media Company Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recorded or otherwise without the prior permission of the copyright holder. Printed by Warners Midland plc. ©Te Leisure Media Company Limited 2013 ISSN 0952/8210


SPORT Beckham to co-own MLS franchise

Former England captain David Beckham is set to become co-owner of a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Florida, US. Beckham spent five of his last six

seasons playing in the MLS for Los Angeles-based LA Galaxy, before retiring from competitive football earlier this year. It is believed that his contract with

LA Galaxy, signed in 2007, included a clause allowing him to bid for a MLS franchise with a 25 per cent discount. Beckham is part of a group of

investors looking to set up a franchise in Florida. Talks to confirm the loca- tion of the franchise are at an advanced stage and an announcement could be made by the end of the year. Te MLS has been keen to reintroduce a

franchise in Florida in recent years, following the demise of Miami Fusion and the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Both teams were axed in 2002 when MLS decreased the number of teams

Beckham spent five seasons at LA Galaxy between 2007-2012

from 12 to 10 as part of cost-cutting measures. MLS currently consists of 19 teams – 16

in the US and three in Canada – and is in the midst of expanding its reach across North America. In July, MLS commissioner Don Garber announced that the league planned to reach a total of 24 teams by 2020. Details:

Blackwell Meadows stadium to be redeveloped

Directors of Darlington 1883 football club (D1883) are close to finalising a ground-shar- ing agreement with Darlington Rugby Football Club (DRFC). As part of the process, Blackwell Meadows will benefit from a facility upgrade, planned to

take place before the start of the 2014-15 season. In a joint statement, the two clubs said nego-

tiations are still ongoing in respect of final designs, specifications and construction costs and that details would be announced at a later date. Details:

Sporting activity of Welsh kids rises sharply

Tere has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of Welsh children who regularly take part in sport and phys- ical activity. Te figure comes from Sport Wales’

School Sport Survey, which inter- viewed 110,000 pupils from nearly 1,000 schools across the country. Of those surveyed, the number of

children taking part in physical activ- ity at least three times a week rose from 27 per cent in 2011 to 40 per cent in 2013. Results also show that 91 per cent of

children enjoy school sport and that school remains the most important place in which children learn the competence and confidence to participate in physical activity. Despite the increase, there was no signof the

gap between the number of boys and girls play- ing sport closing. Boys (44 per cent) were still more likely than girls (36 per cent) to regularly

Read Leisure Opportunities online: 50 per cent more Welsh children are regularly taking part in sport

participate in sport and physical activity. Commenting on the survey results, Sport

Wales Chair, Professor Laura McAllister said: “Tese excellent figures show what is possible when the sport and education sectors work together.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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